Our human will is marred by our fallen condition, by original sin, and by an urge to live our lives outside the Will of God. The evil work of Satan in Uvalde, Texas, dishonors and blasphemes God. Before now, in Parkland, and before then in Sandy Hook, and before that, in Columbine, when my seminary students and I were aghast, learning that first responders had waited to go into the school; then, and at too many other times, our nation has been horrified by the massacre of children. But not horrified enough.
The killing of elementary school children in a classroom that is barricaded by a lunatic, satanic shooter, and thus has made the children and their teachers sitting targets, whose bodies are then shredded, not merely shot but shredded, by a long gun, assault weapon, an AR-15 rifle, outrageously defies any sane, rationally acceptable explanation. Two of the 19 children who were killed were decapitated by the high-velocity rifle, it was disclosed.
The gun idolatry, lust for power, and money lust, of those whose power makes available an AR-15 assault rifle designed as a weapon of battlefield warfare, for purchase by civilian gun owners, whether 18 or 81, is blasphemy against God. Forget politics. This is about good and evil. All gun and money lust, and lust for power, is self-idolatry; it violates God’s first, and most important, commandment against the worship of other gods. Archbishop Gustavo-Garcia, head of Uvalde’s diocese, named and condemned aptly the “idol of guns.”
This crisis is vastly more than a political one. It is much more than a disagreement over the Second Amendment. This crisis is spiritual. This is about a society’s rebellion against the will of the Almighty God. Values of morality, and of right and wrong, are not relative choices, conditional to individual, self-regarding desires, or to differing interpretations of the Constitution. An unconditional imperative, moral law, enacted by God the Creator and Judge, legislates God’s Moral Will and Sovereign ruling, now unobserved and flouted by gun idolators. God is not dead and will judge.
A wise analyst of the moral and spiritual rebellion dooming us has said rightly that our opposing views of “salvaging democracy,” whatever our politics, Republican or Democrat, have blinded us to a need to “salvage our souls.” Yes! This wayward disobedience and straying from God’s divine Will are a dishonor to God and will rob us of our souls’ faithfulness, service, and reverence for the one Lord God.
God has given the final verdict, and Victory, in the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. For all who trust in the saving Grace of God, the Resurrection promises “a future of inexpressible goodness.” But here and now, all disciples of Christ Jesus are called, and commanded, to get out of the boat and walk to Him on these turbulent waters. When Simon Peter aimed for the Roman centurion’s neck, intending to decapitate him, and missed, cutting off his ear, Jesus denounced the sword and the use of it. Read Matthew 26:52: “Then said Jesus unto him, ‘Put up your sword; for all they that take the sword shall die by the sword.’”
Now, a year later, in May of 2023, nothing has yet been done by lawmakers in this country which has sufficiently banned the sale of assault rifles to civilian persons. Instead, unregulated gun manufacturers, with legal immunity to prosecution for these many murders, and an unregulated National Rifle Association, holding lawmakers in their thrall, intend to offer for sale, very soon, an assault rifle more deadly than the AR-15. This is reported now by reliable sources.
What do Christ’s spoken words teach now, about this projection of even more deadly assault weapons, expressly designed to kill larger numbers of people more quickly, being sold into the hands of Americans? I can tell you. I have been given stewardship over my call and the Lord’s commanding commission to tell you. It is sin against God, transgression against Jesus’ teaching, rebellion against God’s immutable Moral Law, and disobedient rejection of both Law and Gospel.
We will answer to Almighty God for our greed, for our lethargy, for our inattention, our rebellion and our refusal to love God and neighbor, our blasphemy and self-idolatry, and for the evil worship of guns, this peculiarly modern idolatry and its abomination to God. Thoughts and prayers must grow legs and feet to obey God’s call to action, through His power and in His divine Will.
Lord, Thou art the Potter; we are the clay. Mold in us the repentance of a broken and contrite heart. Forgive us, we pray. Make us true soldiers of the cross. And deliver us from this evil. Fill our hearts with Your Spirit, O Lord God. In the Name of Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.
Thanks be to God.